Holmes Under the Hammer
Ronnie sits down with our recently promoted Tom Holmes for an exclusive interview.
After 2 years of excellent work, we recently dropped the ‘junior’ from Tom’s title, promoting him to Web Developer! We caught up with him to discuss his time at AMI and how he’s progressed his career within the industry.
Hi Tom and congratulations on your promotion! Very pleased for you and very much deserved. You’ve moved forward quickly here down to your hard work – How long have you been with AMI?
Just reached 2 years.
And what did you do before AMI; did you always want to go into this line of work?
I was working on getting a Computer Science degree before joining AMI, with an aim to go into a line of work which related to coding, like website development or software development – so joining AMI was perfect for me!
It’s worked really well for everyone. How did you find joining the team?
I think I’ve fitted in quite well, don’t think I’ve been too annoying.
I’d agree with that. Part of the furniture now. So… what’s your favourite part of your job?
When i’m able to get stuck into a project, working on building page templates and implementing customisation options in the admin.
Everyone loves admin! Since joining, what have you found the most challenging aspect of your job, and how did you overcome it?
Learning how to implement Twig Templating and how it hooks into WordPress options and custom fields. Continually working with Twig Templating has helped me to understand it more over time, and it’s been great having a team of other knowledgeable developers around me to help when needed.
There’s certainly loads of knowledge in there. The development office is the engine room behind the whole operation, since you’ve been part of that office can you tell me a little bit about the skills you have learnt since starting as a Junior?
Learning to use WordPress; implementing easily editable sections so the back-end of our websites to make it even more user-friendly. Then there’s the creation of WordPress templates using Twig Templating. I’m also involved in plenty of problem solving; finding solutions for a wide range of function issues.
Do you find a lot of the skills you’ve acquired here have helped you learn about SEO as well?
Pretty much everything we do has an impact on SEO; so yes! I’ve gained a huge amount of knowledge on how to improve website performance within search engines. A lot of our development work improves page speed, usability and functionality – in turn this improves SEO.
SEO such a huge part of what we do and still it’s a regular conversation for us with clients. Do you spend a lot of time talking to clients on the development side of things?
We have a team in place who speak to clients on a daily basis, however there are times when a phone call or email correspondence with a client has to come from the development team. This is usually for technical queries but it’s a part of my job I really enjoy.
I always believe it’s good to talk to clients when necessary – That contact is essential for long-term relationships.
So, we’ve spoken about your work, your skills and details on your learning BUT, before we finish up, I am keen to know if you would you encourage other people to undertake a junior role and why?
I think for people inexperienced in the workplace its a perfect opportunity to learn and understand how everything works, instead of being thrown straight into the deep-end. It’s a great way to work your way up the ladder too!
Absolutely, I agree 100%. It’s a win-win. I always use you as an example when talking to people about career starts or changes. What advice would you give to someone starting a career in web development?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, whether it’s something you’re just curious about or something you need help with. Gain as much knowledge as you can!
Sound advice. Ask, ask, ask! Best way to go. So, Junior no more! What’s next for you?
I want to progress my coding skills further to be able to implement custom features into websites so I can help other developers when they’re on a tight deadline. Then continue up that ladder.
I certainly see you moving further up that ladder in no time! Thank you, Tom, it’s been great to hear about your progress and how much you’re enjoying life here at AMI. We’ve loved working with you over the past 2 years, you’re doing a great job and you certainly make everyone’s job that bit easier!
Thank you. It’s been fun.
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